Saturday, October 6, 2012

Quiet Time Boxes

It would appear that the little guy has given up his nap. ACK! You can imagine my surprise when, on Thursday, at our usual slowing down time, he turns to me after snuggling on his bed for a while and says, "I'm not so sleepy any more, mom." WHAT!?!? This kid who is known for his two and a half hour, sometimes three hour naps? Just cold turkey quits? Doesn't even bother to hit the snooze button just one. more. time. Nopes. He's done.

Yesterday, I implemented Quiet Time. We tried to go down for a nap again - this attempt only lasted half an hour. I simply couldn't abide any more wiggling in that close proximity. When he told me he wasn't sleepy, I told him all about the awesomeness of Quiet Time. Mama gets to do some work and Bennett gets to play all by himself with whatever he wants. Unless Mama hears blood curdling screams, she won't even check on you. How's that for an awesome deal? The caveat was that Quiet Time has to last at least two hours. And hey, if he happens to fall asleep in that time - no problemo.

He played by himself for about thirty minutes yesterday. Then, he pooped. In his pants. I don't understand. We took a little Quiet Time break to clean out his unders and learn about the process involved (in cleaning, not pooping - he's got that down, y'all!). Then, he was on his own again for another twenty minutes or so before he started popping out of his playroom and asking, every five minutes, "Is Quiet Time over yet, mom? Did you hear the alarm go BRING?" That's right - I set an alarm. This kid does well with auditory reminders. Anyway - the point is this:

I had seen some ideas on Pinterest for how to keep your kid occupied during Quiet Time and today, I decided to try them out. After Bennett woke up at FIVE FREAKING THIRTY this morning (bring as sunshine, I might add - mom and dad, not so sun-shiney), I was certain that he would need a nap and that I'd get a chance to put the Quiet Time Boxes together while he snoozed. We went shopping in the morning to get the few supplies I didn't have on hand. I decided to raid his playroom for the majority of the innards. I just needed medium sized plastic bins with easy-open tops.

Of course, as is my luck, Bennett fell asleep in the car on our way home from Dollarama (Canadians really know how to name a store, eh?). He had a total of fifteen minutes nap today. Yay! Because he was awake, I chose to have him help me put the Quiet Time Boxes together. There are four in total and he was able to choose one to go up to his playroom with for Quiet Time. Luckily, because I had most of the supplies on hand for filling the boxes, it only took about fifteen minutes to assemble them. They still aren't labeled - but look: a compact way to hold four days worth of fun!

Quiet Time Boxes - plan to have 7 total
What is traditionally done with this sort of idea is to have one box for each day of the week. The child gets to pull down the box for Monday and play with the contents during Monday's Quiet Time only. After Quiet Time, the box and its contents go back in the closet or on the shelf or wherever they are stored. I haven't designated each box to a day yet, but will once I have all seven created. (There were only four boxes of this size at the store today!)

Box 1
Contents of Box 1 - Polar Bear Polar Bear by Eric Carle, one match box car (will add one more and a track of some sort), three keys and two locks (need to find the third lock!), a calculator (bought new today), Sesame Street coloring and activity book, crayons and white paper. There are also two neat books that are like reusable coloring books - they work with a "water" pen.

Box 2
Box 2 - Four puzzle set by Melissa & Doug, theme Transportation, I Love You Stinky Face book (so cute!), Noise Putty (by far his favorite Christmas Gift from 2011), Dinosaur flash cards, a bag of Legos, a pack of stickers and some note paper from my days at Darlington School. All of these things we had on hand. The new part of this Quiet Box is a set of four small square "bowls" for sorting the Legos. This is the box he pulled for today. He only played with the legos and not for very long. I think he was just too tired to get the idea - he started being very silly with the sorting. I gave up. We'll try again tomorrow!

Box 3
Box 3 - His LeapPad, Who Sees You At Night pop up book, color wonder markers and paper, pipe cleaners, paper strips and two pairs of scissors. All of this, we had on hand. I just had to cut the paper strips and color wonder paper to fit the box.

Box 4
Box 4 - Two I Spy board books, magnifying glass (new today), Melissa & Doug lacing cards, bag of various sized pom poms (new today), four small square bowls for sorting, shoelace for stringing, jar of plastic beads.

Like I said, I have visions of putting together three more boxes, I would like to put in some dominoes, dice, a deck of cards, some tanagrams, more books, a felt board or book . . . you name it. What are some ideas you'd like to share?


  1. This is pretty cool, Blythe. You're a good mom. Hopefully my soon-to-be-delivered birthday present will be a welcome addition to one of the boxes.